An expert’s guide to getting stuff done.
Let’s get the confession out of the way first: I am not a teen, or a student, and if I’m being honest it’s been rather a long time (ahem) since I was either. So why would I have reached for a book aimed at helping those groups improve their study skills? In my opinion, these are life skills we all need – time management, planning, motivation, organisation, all aimed at beating procrastination – and there is something very accessible, comforting even, about getting the advice aimed at perhaps a younger version of yourself. We’ve all been teens, right? And I might have put down studying a while ago, but it’s something that I remember vividly – reading advice framed around this isn’t ‘irrelevant’, it’s something that I understand tackling from some of my earliest years. These are excellent ways to get a message across, allowing the reader to then extrapolate the advice into this ‘grown up’ nonsense I’m still not so sure about 😉
Or, of course, you might give this to an actual teen with school or university studying to do, and they’d find it even more relevant!
Too many books like this are busy trying to look ‘intellectual’, whereas here it’s just straightforward, friendly advice. It didn’t seem like it would patronise ‘the youth’ – although with the above admission, I’m maybe not the best judge 😉 But for me it was practical and realistic, and I loved the tone of “different things work for different people and I don’t know you like you do, but you could try…” and a few options. Genuinely helpful, not full of “I know everything” posturing. It was so refreshing!
The book starts with a discussion about how normal, how human, procrastination is, and also the reassurance that skills like time management are not something you’re going to just have, but need to develop. So right from the off it’s about support, not shouting, saying look, you might be struggling with this but you can learn to improve. There are tons of tips that try to tackle issues from as many angles as possible, and while many are fairly familiar, there were a few that surprised me – in a good way! While most are completely practical, I think I particularly liked the fun ones, like taking your studying/homework/(taxes?) to a different location (if you can), or setting up rituals like eating popcorn while you work.
I really recommend this book, obviously particularly for students, but don’t overlook it if those days are a little more behind you than you care to admit 😉
NetGalley eARC: 152 pages / 8 chapters
First published: 2020
Read from ?-17th March 2021
My rating: 8/10